Sunday, September 30, 2007

Head 'em up, move 'em out!

We live smack in the middle of the Chisholm Trail, which was a major route used for cattle drives in the mid- to late 1800's. The route went from southern Texas, across the Red River and north to Abilene, Kansas.

This is our friend, Carmen. She participated in the Cherokee Strip Land Run Centennial cattle drive in 1993. She and others began talking about another cattle drive this year, for Oklahoma's Centennial celebration. But they wanted it to be big. They've spent 14 years planning for this.

For the past three weeks, they have been herding 450 head of cattle from the southern to the northern borders of our state. This weekend, they stayed overnight in our town, and we got to visit the cow camp. Carmen gave us the lowdown on the drive.

The 25 cowboys get up at 4:30, eat breakfast, break camp, and start rounding up the cattle. They ride about 15 hours a day, and the cattle set the pace. They want to keep them all healthy, so if one goes lame or is having trouble, they load it up and send it safely back to its owner. They have been traveling alongside Highway 81, which is well traveled, but Carmen says the cattle are pretty calm and the traffic doesn't seem to bother them. She did say that they went through an area where there were some llamas, and that didn't go over well. The cattle gave them a wide berth, and the horses got skittish. Must be a history of bad blood between the equines and the llama population.

There is another week left of the cattle drive, and Carmen says she doesn't want it to end. She tells us that the people of Oklahoma have been amazing, turning out, offering food and water. She has even met people from places such as Norway and Germany. She didn't have words to describe the experience, but that ear to ear grin that never left her face spoke volumes.

They are breaking camp and continuing north tomorrow morning. They will be heading out around 8 a.m. Carmen told us the best place to watch as they leave. Because, as cool as it was to see the camp and the cattle grazing, it's got to be way cooler to watch 450 cattle being herded by a lot of dedicated cowpokes. There will be pictures. I just hope I don't run into this bad boy.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Hubby went away for a week, to Minnesota. He went to help our son move, to celebrate his mom's birthday, go to a seminar with his dad, and play some golf where it's not hot as hell. For various reasons, I opted out of this trip. I figured I would get some 'me' time and maybe some 'girl'time with my daughter.

I pretty much didn't cook, ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it, or ate nothing because I felt like eating nothing. I didn't clean, other than keeping the sink from piling with dirty dishes (I wouldn't have actually washed the dishes, I mean, there is a dishwasher), or do much laundry. Not that hubby expects these things to be done on some sort of schedule when he's around. In fact, he really doesn't. I just didn't feel like, say, changing the sheets. Some days I was kind of a slob. If I didn't have anywhere to go other than maybe the grocery, I didn't even shower. Daughter and I watched some chick t.v. when she was home for the weekend. I watched a little when I was here alone. Some Lifetime, Oxygen, Turner Movie Classics. Maybe some USA, a little TNT, who remembers?

Jess had planned to ride her motorcycle while she was here, but the battery was dead, so she was going to charge it. When she moved it, she realized her tags were expired, and she left it kind of in the middle of the garage. I figured I would move it back so hubby could get his car in when he got home. I got it mostly figured out, but the back was too heavy to scoot, so I left it a little in his path.

On the night he was due home, I heard a car door in the garage, so I went out to see him. He had just gotten back into the car after moving the bike. He saw me come out and I got the smile. The same smile I saw when I met him, eyes lit up and the dimples and it was like the sun coming up. Twenty-five years later, that smile still melts me. Then he opened up his arms and I went into the safest place I have ever been. He was home, and so was I.

Okay, maybe I watched a little too much sappy television while he was gone. Whatever.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I Deserve a Break Today

The Geico gecko bugs a lot of people. I don't really mind him. Probably because, when we lived in Corpus Christi, geckos were everywhere and I thought they were really cute. Well, I did mind that morning when I opened the cupboard door to get my coffee cup and a gecko leapt off the shelf and onto the countertop. From there, he made a jump to the refrigerator and stuck there like a magnet. And I really didn't like it when I pulled back the shower curtain to find two of them in the bathtub. Oh, and there was that time that my mom and her friend (who was also her boss) were visiting. We opened the front door and two geckos ran into the house and under the couch. My then four year old son raced after them, threw himself on the floor, looked under the sofa and said, "Where did those damn geckos go?" Kids. They say the darndest things.

There are a few ad personalities that bug me a lot, however. Like this dude, whose plastic surgery went horribly awry. I'm pretty sure when my kids were little, they would have been terrified of this guy.

The Quaker Oats man has been around forever, and he never really bothered me. But now he's lurking around every corner, at the school bus stop, carrying trays of sweets for the children. My mommy told me to steer clear of freakishly dressed weirdos who offered me candy.

I don't like the Nasonex bee, either. His eyes are creepy and he likes to assault pretty flowers. He's also seriously in need of a good orthodontist. And what is up with that accent? No wonder the French hate us.

But I have to say, the ad that bugs me the most is the one for Air Wick. For a long time, I didn't even know which air freshener was being advertised, because I was too distracted by the big purple elephant with the English accent. Who was having trouble controlling odors in her home because of all the smelly sneakers that were funkifying the atmosphere. Because she's married to a centipede. Now that's just wrong.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Boundaries Please

When my daughter was born, I told my husband that someday he would have a teenage daughter and a menopausal wife at the same time. That time has arrived. Which may be why hubby has spent a good deal of time in Minnesota the past month. Seriously, I don't think we're that bad, but I have had a good case of the blahs, which has resulted in neglect of my house, yard and blog. However, while clicking aimlessly through channels a couple of days ago, I heard something that made me stop. I thought I heard someone say "anal bleaching," so I waited to see what it was that they had actually said. And it was this: anal bleaching. I can't not write about that.

I listened while a woman described very matter-of-factly what this was. And then I got online because I wanted to know if she was putting me on. I found this article, which told me way more than I ever wanted to know about it.

Okay, I don't even get the whole Brazilian wax phenomenon, but anal bleaching. Who really needs this? Crappers Quarterly says porn stars. I don't watch porn, so I don't know, but do these areas really get that much camera time? Models and actresses. I guess if you're Britney Spears and you insist on going pantiless and getting out of cars that certain way she does, but other than that, who sees this particular part of one's body? Other than your doctor say, during a prostate exam, and he probably doesn't really care what color it is. I mean, isn't it kind of like bleaching the back of your throat?

I guess nothing really is sacred anymore. We have Oprah and Dr. Oz talking about poop on a weekly basis, and now we are discussing the tint of our anuses. I'm just saying.